Uruguay currently relies completely on imports of oil, natural gas and coal for energy. Raul Sendic, president of the state-owned Administracion Nacional de Combustibles, Alcoholes y Portland oil company, said the discovery created a "certain degree of optimism," according to the source.
The recent discovery was characterized as loose hydrocarbon - a key ingredient of crude oil.
"If we continue on this track we should have very good news in three to four years," Sendic said.
He added that the country had never found oil outside source rocks, which "indicates a maturing process that enable the oil to squeeze out to higher layers," Merco Press reported.
Exploration will continue at greater depths and will move surveying farther north in the country to learn more about the potential oil play. Other energy companies are also surveying areas in other Uruguayan districts.